Slowly Becoming Canadian – Episode 11 – Eurotrip



Serial backpacker, Mike Howarth, stops by the podcast to talk about the 10 weeks he spent exploring Europe. We discuss buying too many cheap European tomatoes when you only have two bags, a random encounter with two RCMP officers in Spain, a man selling beer in his underwear in Slovakia, famous European landmarks and a train on a boat. Bon voyage !

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Georgia… I mean, South Carolina on my mind

Going down South is a very Canadian thing to do. At first, I thought it was kind of odd to see all these people chasing the sun every year; 
however, after six winters in Canada I totally get it. This year after a few snowstorms, a couple of blizzards and 
three months of walking on icy sidewalks, I couldn’t wait to go to a place where the question “Is it supposed to be sunny tomorrow?” is not even a thing.

Last year, after a few drinks, my friends Pat and Claude offered to have a bunch of us over for a week in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I’m not sure they still think it was a good idea, but I sure am happy I said yes!  During the past  week, I have done a lot of things that – for the most part – I couldn’t do in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Here are a few of them:

  • Wear shorts in April
  • Bike everywhere: the beach, the marina, the supermarket… (Well, you could do that in Halifax but you’d have to survive the hills)
  • Buy my beer at the supermarket and for half the price I’d pay at the NSLC back in Nova Scotia
  • Make friends with an alligator  
  • Tan
  • Play golf in golf paradise. Well, I stuck with mini-golf, but still.
  • Enjoy a refreshing glass of sweet tea. Yes, it’s just iced tea, but there’s something different about it when it comes with a true southern meal:    


  • Get rid of my winter blues
  • Take advantage of US prices and 6% taxes 
  • Catch a BIG red fish  
  • Enjoy 6 consecutive sunny days with an above-twenty-five-degree temperature
  • Do a sunset cruise on a sailboat (this is possible in Canada too, but again you’d probably not be wearing shorts if it was in April)


I also committed to putting together France’s Olympic curling team for the 2018 games. I know you’re thinking “Buddy, it’s not that easy!”, but there are only 386 registered curlers in France, so Coach Mark and I figure our chances are pretty good.

As you can probably tell, this trip also involved a lot of drinking. From what I heard, that’s a very important part of the “going down South” experience.

Oh, if you’re planning on going to an all-inclusive resort down South any time soon, here are a few pieces of advice I wrote for you.